A former colleague recently asked me about online communities at work, their value in supporting strategic activities and how to make the most of them. Kirsten Wagenaar and I discussed this and I decided to write a blog as a summary of that discussion.
On the 26th and 27th of February 2019 the digital workplace group presented DW24, a 24 hour webinar which looks at key topics and themes relating to digital workplaces. This provides a fascinating insight for digital workplace practitioners. Allowing them to take a behind the scenes look at what their peers in other organisations are doing with their digital workplace programmes.
Here are some of my observations I’ve noticed this year, reflecting back on previous years and events.
During any kind of organizational change there will be a temptation to tackle the process with new procedures and technology. Which makes sense, since these are concrete and quantifiable elements. Attempts at sustainable change of this sort will however always fail. This is because people are the defining factor. And to win over people’s heads and hearts, these people will have to be your starting point.
Meeting the demands of the digital age will require a new way of working. Take for instance the decision-making process. Organizations no longer have the time traditionally taken up by this process through a decision tree. The future belongs to organizations which are made up of multiple autonomously operating communities forming part of the larger whole (so-called pods).
The larger and more formal the organization, the more resistant to change it will be. What this means for communities or social intranets is that, after implementation, it will still take a long time to change employees’ behaviour. So should the organizational culture be changed first, before investing in a social platform? No – this blog will show you that giving employees a social platform is instrumental in any large-scale organizational change.